Using 3rd Party Plugins in Channel Strip

When the channel strip came with version 8, it was a big feature and it’s implemented really well. However, since many users, like me, prefer plug-ins from third-party manufacturers for some tasks, the channel strip is somewhat superfluous.

I can already choose between different compressors (for example). What if there was an additional option that also allowed me to load another compressor of my choice?
For the graphical interface, the user could chose between the existing ones and learn the functions (rightclick → learn)

I don’t really see the benefit of that. What’s the problem with inserts? They’re there for exactly that purpose- loading plugins.

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You don’t see the benefit of the channel strip?

Sure, you can use inserts. But everything that’s in there was also possible with inserts before they introduced the channel strip. But the Cubase channel strip is limited to the Steinerg stock plugins.

I don’t use the channel strip, except for the EQ here and there. The controls and especially the labels are too tiny for me and I don’t think usability is that great.
And I don’t see any sense in loading other plugins that may have totally different controls (and control scaling) and then have to manually “map” them to existing knobs, which probably most of the time won’t really work, because the number of controls wont match or the scaling is different (linear/exponential) or the plugin control has stepped values, but the channel strip controls don’t. That seems much more complicated and convoluted to me than just clicking an insert and loading the plugin with its original GUI (which in a good plugin is carefully layed out and workflow optimized).
The plugin window handling could use some makeover, of course, I fully support the feature request for a tabbed plugin window as already requested here.

I also don’t use every feature of Cubase, that doesn’t mean that they are useless. For a lot of users, the channel strip is a very useful feature and was the biggest improvement of Cubase version 8.

The controls are not that different. For example, Compressors usually have very similar controls. Re-labeling the buttons would be also easy to do and you don’t have to map every single control, just the ones you would like to have in direct access. Just like it is today with the stock plugins.
If you want to change other parameters, you can still open the plugin and do it, just like you can already do it today, so it’s no loss.
The behavior would be identical to the todays channel strip, except that you can chose the plugin yourself. The learn-function is already possible in Cubase and also works with stepped values.

If you think this is too complicated, you can still use the inserts. It doesn’t make any difference for you. But people who like to use the channel strip, are stuck to the stock plug ins, for them it would be a big improvement.

The channel strip components are actually specifically tailored plugin components (with different categories), to suit the specific functionality, UI size and such. So regular effect plugins don’t work in a channel strip slot. I don’t think that the relevant API for channel strip effects has been made public.


I don’t see the disadvantage, if you can use the compresser-slot (or whatever) for something different.

And of course it would work, the UI wouldn’t even change, you just have to map the buttons to the specific functions of the plugin.

My guess is that based on it’s current usage, the amount of resources to implement that feature would greatly exceed the benefits.

While the new C7 mix console was initially praised, and it certainly does resemble a traditional layout, I get a sense that it’s mostly ignored today by a majority of users due to 3rd party marketing, GUI/workflow/hide/scroll issues and general DAW psychological issues.

While a UAD 1176 would very well work with your request, a Shadow Hills for example would be a joke. Honestly, for lighter duties, have you ever compared the Cubase Standard Compressor in the Strip to an 1176? Unless pushed hard, I can’t detect much difference that would suggest I use the UAD 1176 yet most of us seem to go the insert route.

My guess is that even the Edit Channel Settings>Strip Tab feature that was added a while back hasn’t seemed to make much of a Strip Channel usage difference.

I would vote any resources dedicated to the channel strip be used to further improve the performance of existing channel strip devices and to add an fx section to the strip with delay and reverb modules.